God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Colossians 3:5–17: In today’s reading, Paul reminds the Colossians that they are people of God, united as a community bound by love. He admonishes the people to get rid of those habits that are aligned with “the old self” in order to “put on the new self.”
5 You must put to death, then, the earthly desires at work in you, such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry). 6 Because of such things God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey him.[a] 7 At one time you yourselves used to live according to such desires, when your life was dominated by them.
8 But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits 10 and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself. 11 As a result, there is no longer any distinction between Gentiles and Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves, and free, but Christ is all, Christ is in all.
12 You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14 And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. 15 The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. 17 Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 3:17
Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
What does it mean to you to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” (verses 9–10)? In verses 5–10, what behaviors are cited as necessary to abandon in order to become a “new being?” Reread verses 12–17. How do you envision a community that reflects the unity Paul describes?
Lord God, I pray that Christ’s message may live in my heart and that, each day, I sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to you. May everything I do be done in the name of your Son, Jesus, and may Christ’s peace guide me and rule in my heart. Amen.
Colossians 4:2–18: The apostle Paul encourages the Colossians to be persistent in prayer.